Squiz Today / 13 April 2018

Squiz Today – Friday, 13 April


"At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services…”

Yulia Skripal, daughter of former double agent Sergei, said “thanks but no thanks” to the Russian embassy’s offer of help. Russia is thought to be responsible for the nerve agent attack on the pair in Salisbury last month. Sergei remains in hospital while Yulia was released this week.


The war of words between old foes America and Russia escalated to talk of open military conflict between the two. Tensions have increased after a chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last weekend, which France says was carried out Syrian government forces. Things took off yesterday when US President Donald Trump Twitter-canvassed a military response to the attack, which was met with promises of a reaction from Russia, Syria’s closest ally. Trump stepped it back a little bit overnight saying the US was still deciding its response. “Could be very soon or not so soon at all!” he tweeted.

Let’s just say the situation in Syria has brought to a head some difficult issues. A year ago, when government forces carried out a sarin gas attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun that killed more than 60 people, the US launched air strikes on a Syrian airbase. So there’s a precedent. But the next few days will be critical to how this plays out. In the meantime, US, UK and French military assets are in place to strike.

There are three things to mention:

• According to Russian media, Eastern Ghouta has been captured by Syrian government forces. It was one of the last rebel strongholds, and its fall is a significant milestone in the seven-year-long war.

• Commentators in the US are pointing to a stretched president who is facing trouble at home (think the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign and all the rest...) and conflict abroad.

• But help could be at hand! Reports say ousted chief strategist Steve Bannon has a plan


• PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said there is tension between Australia and China. He put it down to our moves to stop foreign interference from ‘foreign actors’, including China.

• In the same interview, Turnbull repeated his crime against Australia demonstrating his limited recall of the Farnsie classic You’re the Voice. He was originally caught out at the Commonwealth Games earlier this week.

• Speaking of the Commonwealth Games… anti-doping officials yesterday said no athletes have tested positive since competition had begun. But three Aussie athletes were banned in the lead up to the games.

• What about the other errant athletes you ask? Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says the eight missing Cameroon athletes will be tracked down and deported ASAP. And if they claim asylum, they won’t be given preferential treatment, he said.

P&O’s Pacific Dawn reported a woman overboard yesterday. Positioned about 300km west of New Caledonia and searching in poor conditions, a spokesman said the crew were notified immediately and turned the ship around to search. The ship was on a week-long cruise that had left Brisbane last Saturday.

And activist/author/engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied was yesterday refused entry to the US because she did not have the correct visa. Abdel-Magied was to participate in a speaking engagement next week but was turned away. Making every post a winner, she tweeted; “Funniest thing is that throughout this whole ordeal all I am thinking about is what a good story this will make.”

PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday committed to tipping in $5 billion of federal funds for a rail link to connect Tullamarine airport with the CBD. Skybus, be gone! The Victorian government will need to put up the same amount. Transport links and traffic in and out of Melbourne’s airport have been a problem for ages, and it’s only getting worse. Premier Daniel Andrews said he would be happy to talk about a partnership to get it built. Which isn’t quite the same as committing $5 billion, but it’s a start.

That’s because the prestigious film festival has ruled that only films that have a cinema release can be eligible for its awards. Which feels like a watershed moment with Netflix banging on the door with its new way of producing content and the old guard resisting change.

And while we have you… reports say former Netflix star Kevin Spacey is being investigated by Los Angeles authorities over an assault from 1992. Reports say more than 30 men have stepped forward to make allegations against Spacey since actor Anthony Rapp went public last year.

This profile on how Camilla Parker-Bowles “won over the Queen and became the Duchess of Cornwall” is interesting for anyone who is 1) interested in the royals, or 2) interested in PR and reputation management.

Aussie cook and writer Adam Liaw has uncovered a massive secret – how chicken salt was originally concocted. Investigative journalism at its best.

If you’re anything like us you have your free tv, pay tv and streaming services hooked up. But like a wardrobe packed full of clothes, you can’t find anything you want. We wanted to veg out last weekend and watch a rom-com but were overwhelmed by the options. This list will help next time.

If you have an interest in the very best writing, listen up. The Stella Prize winner has been announced and it’s Alexis White for her book Tracker. It's "a collective memoir of the charismatic Aboriginal leader, political thinker and entrepreneur Tracker Tilmouth."

If you’re inspired to buy this or any book from Booktopia using this link, we’ll get a little commission. Which is lovely for all concerned.



Australian Health Ministers' Meeting - Sydney

ABS Data Release - International Trade in Goods and Services, February

8th Summit of the Americas (to 14 April) - Lima


3.00pm (AEST) - Commonwealth Games Netball - Australia v New Zealand*

3.05pm - Horse Racing - Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney. Winx is chasing her 25th consecutive win to equal Black Caviar's record

Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


1.00pm (AEST) - Commonwealth Games Netball - Gold Medal Game (fingers crossed for Oz)*

29th Arab League Summit - Riyadh

World Art Day 

MS Melbourne Cycle and Half Marathon

Anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing (2013)

20th Anniversary of the death of Pol Pot, leader of Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge regime (1998)

Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (1912)

*We're netball fans...

And make sure you've opened the email every day this week to be in the running for a gorgeous silk shirt from The Fable worth $149.

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